Since he dropped his debut mixtape, About a Girl, back in 2009, there's been one thing on rapper Audubon's mind: making it in the music industry. Once the star of MTV’s reality series Washington Heights, Audubon, who was born Jonathan Perez, eventually traded his life on the small screen to continue the momentum of his first studio album, 2013's Digging for Sunshine.
Last year, Audubon dropped off another mixtape, Le Trap Affair, which features production from beat-maker Sonaro. But he soon realized that he wanted new vibes and was in search of fresh inspiration. So the Dominican rapper and singer made the move to Miami, beginning the familiar South Florida lifestyle as an exiled New Yorker, which has inspired his upcoming album. Exile is heard from the rooftops of his city at the northern tip of Manhattan all the way down to South Florida.
“I don’t want to say it's dark,” Audubon says about the overall themes of Exile. “But it’s kind of who I am. It’s not that I always see the negative side of things, but I love listening to sad music just for the sonics of it. I love the vibe of pain because it makes a deeper feeling when I make music."
Recently, Audubon linked up with 99 JAMZ (WEDR-FM) host Felicia Monet and the Neala Group to preview his collection of unreleased records for an exclusive group of fans and tastemakers at Rec Room Studios in North Miami. Audubon ushered multiple groups of excited listeners in and out of the studio for the official breakdown of his new project as Monet, one of his biggest champions, stood by his side.
“I love the project,” Felicia said after the event. “I think the dude is super dope... For me, it’s authentic. You can feel it, and it sounds like it's coming from deep down. It’s a creative process.”
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Indeed, Exile is set to shine a fresh, bright light on Audubon’s eclectic sound. Songs like “Patience” give off deep, poetic vibes backed by soothing synths while others like “End Up Alone” tell stories about his struggles to keep a loving relationship alive as he fights his way through the music industry. Though you can listen to the lead single, “Nothing Like Them,” produced by the Mekanics, now via Soundcloud, Audubon says Exile will drop